Hearing researchers at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary are utilizing Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) technology to treat mice with a genetic defect that causes hearing loss, according to an article in the MIT Technology Review.

Zhen-Yi Chen and David Liu injected the CRISPR cutting protein—CRISPR refers to a system that can be programmed to target specific stretches of DNA to be edited—into the mouse’s inner ear to target a gene, TMC1, that causes hearing loss, according to the article.

Chen and Liu have reported that, in some cases, the mice have retained significant hearing at two months of age; without the CRISPR technique, many would have had significant hearing loss.

MIT Technology Review reports that Chen will soon be working with a team in China to create pigs who are genetically modified with the same genetic defects as humans with hearing loss. If the CRISPR injections are successful, the trials can move to humans.

To read the article in its entirety, please visit the MIT Technology Review website here.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Image: © Vchalup | Dreamstime